Recently I overheard someone say, “If I get one more email or see another self-serving article or conference extolling all the unbelievable ways digital surveillance (AKA big data) can be used to solve just about every problem known to modern man, I think I’ll lose my mind.” Count me in on this feeling.
Coincidentally, many of the articles and webinars are either supported or funded by the large digital consultancies, venture-backed big data firms that want to go public or software or hardware firms looking to sell you their services and training. This reminds me of the Internet frenzy of the late 1990’s, where everything Internet was gold and companies were elbowing each other out of the way to own the next ‘sock puppet’ that walked into their office. The mad dash to invest big dollars in everything big data is the reason cheerleaders point to as why it is a can’t-miss. Isn’t that the same thing they said about the sock puppet? It’s time to take a deep breath. That’s it…inhale slowly—now exhale. Slow down and let’s think a minute about what is happening here.